The Stiles + Drewe Prize

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The STILES + DREWE PRIZE is an unprecedented programme for the development and showcasing of British Musical Theatre Writers

Submissions for the Stiles & Drewe Prize 2017 are now closed.

About:

In 1985, Stiles and Drewe were the recipients of the inaugural Vivian Ellis Prize for their musical Just So. Winning the prize introduced them to many leading lights of the musical theatre world, whose advice and support in championing new writing became so important to them.

Since 2008, Stiles and Drewe have recognised new musical theatre writing via their annual ‘Best New Song’ which has been run by MMD. From 2016, the broadening of the Stiles + Drewe Prize to include the new ‘MTI Mentorship Award’, will offer the musical theatre writing community greater financial and in-kind support via its two distinct arms:

  1. The ‘MTI Mentorship Award’ – an award given to a writer or writing team, centred around a one week writing retreat and culminating in an industry showcase presentation the following year. The Award is generously supported by Music Theatre International (Europe).
  2. ‘Best New Song’ – recognising an outstanding song from a new musical, offered in conjunction with the Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year Award.

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1. The MTI Mentorship Award

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Stiles and Drewe, along with a panel of judges, give the ‘MTI Mentorship Award’ on an annual basis. Funding is generously provided by Musical Theatre International (Europe), one of  the world’s leading theatrical licensing agencies.

The winning writer or writing team benefits from bespoke mentorship and support over a 12-month period.

This includes:

  • A fully funded, one week development retreat to work on the winning musical. This will be at George and Ants house in France.
  • Guaranteed free access to MMD’s monthly Advanced Writers’ Lab.
  • Participation in two Progress Labs. In each of these, the Mentorship Award-winner will present a section of their musical and receive feedback from MMD peers and a panel of professionals.
  • Access to work shadowing opportunities – either on a Stiles and Drewe show or with alternative industry contacts (subject to availability and production schedules).
  • After 12 months, the above culminates in rehearsal provision for a workshop with an industry showcase presentation at the end. This is with a professional cast, Director and MD.

How to Submit:

Writers can enter both the ‘MTI Mentorship Award’ and the ‘Best New Song’ via one submission process. Whilst there is no entry fee, writers must be members of MMD.

You can find out more about MMD and join our organisation by clicking here

*Please note that international members of MMD may submit for The Best New Song Prize only. 

If you have any questions about MMD membership please email our membership manager: sarah@mercurymusicals.com

Entry Requirements for the MTI Stiles + Drewe Mentorship Award

 We ask writers or writing teams to ensure they meet the following entry requirements:

  • Entrants must be resident in the UK (i.e. if chosen, you need to be able to attend monthly Advanced Writers’ Lab sessions, attend the one-week writers’ retreat in France with Stiles + Drewe, prepare and participate in two Progress Labs and the final industry showcase during the course of the year-long mentorship).
  • Entrants must have written a full draft of the musical entered. Full draft means a complete script, with all songs written.
  • Your musical cannot have had a professional production

Entrants should complete the online form below.

General notes:

  • Entries must be uploaded via the MMD website.
  • Please label each file of page of the single pdf uploaded with your SHOW TITLE_ followed by key words/information as applicable):
  • “Song title”_scene
  • “Song title”_lyric sheet
  • Synopsis
  • Underlying Rights Letter

Please submit:

Initially, we require the following to be uploaded via the online form as one document in PDF format:

  1. A synopsis no longer than 500 words
  2. A full character list
  3. A full track list
  • From the draft of the musical, entrants must submit three song. Two should be submitted in the context of their scenes. A lyric sheet should be uploaded for the third song. The maximum page limit for all of this material is 20 pages. The selected scenes and lyric sheet should be in PDF format.
  • Soundcloud links must be included in the relevant section of the online form for all three songs. Please ensure you also detail the full song title next to the link. Please ensure the privacy settings on the Soundcloud tracks will allow MMD staff and the judges to open/listen to the links.
  • PDF sheet music (piano and vocal arrangement) must also be uploaded for all three songs. If songs are scored for instruments other than piano (e.g. guitar charts) you may submit these in the first instance, along with a clear, quality demo which gives a faithful impression of the song for the judges, but please be aware you will be required to provide piano/vocal arrangements too if shortlisted.
  • Entrants should highlight on the online form which of the three songs they want to be considered for ‘Best New Song’. The entrant can select one song only for consideration. The song must be suitable for performance by one singer, either male or female, with piano accompaniment. Songs should be able to be adjusted to comply with this.
  • All material should be presented anonymously. Only the online form should carry personal information.
  • If the musical contains any copyrighted material, please upload proof that the underlying rights have been secured. If the musical is wholly original or based on material now in the public domain please upload a signed letter stating this.

Please note, if you do not upload your files or label them accordingly we will be unable to download your application.

  • The judges may ask writers to produce a full draft of their musical in PDF format at any time.
  • You may only enter the same musical for consideration for the Mentorship Award twice. This can be done on consecutive years. The judges will not consider a musical a third time.
  • Due to the volume of submissions, neither Stiles and Drewe nor MMD are able to give individual feedback regarding the final selection.

Apply Now for the MTI Stiles + Drewe Mentorship Award

Please make sure you read all the above entry requirements and instructions carefully before submitting your application. 

2. The Best New Song

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The ‘Best New Song’ is awarded on an annual basis. 12 finalists have their songs performed by students participating in the Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year Award. For the last 9 years this has been at a gala held at a West End Theatre.

A panel of judges, including Stiles and Drewe, award the ‘Best New Song’ and the winner receives a prize of £1000 to put towards developing their work.

All 12 finalists have access to a Feedback Lab, hosted by Stiles and Drewe at a later date. They are also invited to be audience members in the two Progress Labs for the Mentorship Award-winner.

Entry Requirements for the Best New Song:

Entrants should complete the online form below.

We ask writers or writing teams to ensure they meet the following entry requirements:

  • The song must be from a musical, although the musical does not need to be complete. Stand-alone cabaret songs will not be accepted.
  • The song must be suitable for performance by one singer, either male or female with piano accompaniment only. Songs should be able to be adjusted to comply with this. Duets or ensembles are not eligible.
  • The song cannot have been included in a previous professional production.
  • If you are part of a song writing team, at least one of you must be a paid up member of MMD.
  • Writers can submit a maximum of 2 songs; either written solely by themselves, two songs with the same collaborator or two songs with different collaborators.

Please submit:

  • A Soundcloud link to the song(s) pasted in the relevant section of the online form. Please ensure you also detail the full song title(s) next to the link. Please ensure the privacy settings on the Soundcloud tracks will allow MMD staff and the judges to open/listen to the links.
  • PDF lyric sheet for the song(s)
  • A show synopsis no longer than 500 words

General Notes

  • If a song is selected as a Best New Song finalist, the writer(s) will be required to provide a PDF sheet music (piano and vocal arrangement).
  • Due to the volume of submissions, neither Stiles and Drewe nor MMD are able to give individual feedback regarding the final selection.
  • Please label each file uploaded SHOW TITLE_ followed by key words/information as applicable):
  • “Song title”_lyric sheet
  • Synopsis

Please note, if you do not upload your files or label them accordingly we will be unable to download your application. Please read the above instructions carefully before you submit any materials.

 

Apply Now for the Stiles + Drewe Best New Song

 

 

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History

The Chair of the judging panel is writer and broadcaster Edward Seckerson and previous judges have included Julia McKenzie, Philip Quast, Kim Criswell, George Stiles, Gareth Valentine, David Babani, Richard Balcombe, Kim Criswell, Martin Koch, David Grindrod, Maureen Lipman, Kerry Ellis, Anna Francolini, Timothy Sheader, Sarah Travis, Danielle Hope, Michael McCabe, David Shrubsole, Laurie Sansom, Michael Grandage, Imelda Staunton, Mike Haslam, Matthew Scott, Bert Fink, Jonathan Butterell, David Lan, Nigel Lilley, Scot Alan, Andrew Lippa, John Wilson, Laura Pitt-Pulford, Jamie Lloyd, Don Black, Paul Hart and Elaine Paige.

Previous hosts have included Maria Friedman, Sally Ann Triplett, Rosemary Ashe, Hannah Waddingham, Haydn Gwynne, Claire Moore, Jenna Russell, David Bedella, Michael Xavier and Julian Ovenden.

The winner of the inaugural MTI Stiles & Drewe Mentorship Award: Darren Clark & Rhys Jennings for their musical The Wicker Husband.

Previous winners of the ‘Best New Song’:

2016: Tim Connor for “Back To School” from Heart of Winter. Tim’s show The Stationmaster, written with MMD member Sue Pearse, was premiered at From Page To Stage at Tristan Bates Theatre in 2015.

2015: Richy Hughes and Joseph Finlay for “Don’t Look Down” from The Superhero.  Since winning the Best New Song Prize, Richy’s first professional Commission Mr Poppin’s Penguins has been out on UK Tour, produced by Olivier Award-winning producer Kenny Wax.

2014: Uniquely, Tamar Broadbent has two songs in the final in 2014 “Library Boy” and “The Procrastination Song”. The panel therefore decided to recognize Tamar’s overall work. Tamar has recently taken her one-woman show All By My Selfie to the Adelaide Fringe and her musical Pierced, which includes her 2013 runner-up song “17 Drafts” was performed at the New Musical Project.

2013: “That Once-in-a-Lifetime Feeling” by Tim Sutton. Since winning the Best New Song Prize, Tim has been nominated for the Olivier for Outstanding Achievement in Music for his role as MD on Memphis The Musical.  He has also worked at The National Theatre as an MD on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and as composer and MD on The Amen Corner.

2012: Shared between “Powercut” by Douglas Hodge and “Do You Want A Baby, Baby” by Dougal Irvine from The Busker’s Opera.

2011: Jointly awarded to Tim Sutton for “I Am”, and Eric Angus and Paul James for “Kaboom! Kapow!” from The Boy Who Fell Into A Book which was produced at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough in 2014, directed by Sir Alan Ayckbourn.

2010: Gwyneth Herbert has enjoyed a full production of her musical The A to Z of Mrs P at Southwark Playhouse featuring her winning song “Lovely London Town”. She is currently working on a new project with her writing partner on that show, Diane Samuels.

2009: Olly Ashmore for “Wake Up TV” from Hot Flush 2.

2008: Mark Allcorn for “My Turn Soon” from Singles.

If you have any questions about the submission process please email: martin@mercurymusicals.com

Deadlines:

Submissions open: Monday 7th November 2016

Submissions close: Wednesday 25th January 2017

Finalists announced for Best New Song Prize: Friday 28th April 2017

Mentorship Award and Best New Song Prize winners announced: Sunday 11th June 2017 – SSSSPOTY & Stiles + Drewe Prize 2017 Gala Final at the Noel Coward Theatre at 3.00pm.